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Yavuz, M.B.G.

Department of Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy

Patriotism, joint Commitment & Identification

Whereas Margaret Gilbert’s plural subject theory has a prominent place in the discussion on political obligation, her theory remains unexplored in the discussion on patriotism. This paper aims to fill this gap. It argues that Gilbert’s argument of joint commitment is unpersuasive, as it rests on two confusions: one regarding the content of patriotism, the other regarding its source.

Against Gilbert, I argue that one can be a member of a political society in two manners: as a citizen and as a patriot. I further claim that Gilbert’s theory of joint commitment needs to be supplemented with identification theory to account for patriotism. Finally, I explain what patriotism in such a hybrid account entails and submit that this hybrid account avoids pitfalls that snare these theories in their independent form.

Last modified:30 June 2015 2.17 p.m.